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Sustainable Society:  A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period.







Los Angeles is a Mexican city says Mayor Hahn

"Our city is a Mexican city, and Mexican Americans have greatly shaped our cultural, political and commercial landscape."
Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn, November 5, 2001

Miroslava Flores*


MEXICO CITY - November 6, 2001 - (ACN) Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn met with Mexican President Vicente Fox on Monday at the presidential home at Los Pinos. The two leaders met for the first time to begin forging a closer and more practical working relationship. This is Mayor Hahn's first foreign trade mission and the first official visit of a Los Angeles mayor to Mexico in almost a decade. The meeting highlighted the growing ties between California and Mexico. Mayor Hahn reaffirmed Mexico's interwoven history with that of Los Angeles, which was once governed by Mexico.

Mexican-Americans have been warming up to Kenneth Hahn ever since he defeated the corrupt Chicano candidate Tony Villar (aka Antonio Villargairoza) who was implicated in the "prison pardon scandal" of the notorious crack cocaine dealer Carlos Vignali. Tony Villar was a lackey of the westside L.A. Jewish community who failed to convinced many in the Mexican-American community that he was the right man for the job. The small Afro-American community overwhelmingly rejected Villar but he managed to receive over 80% of the gay and lesbian vote of the West Hollywood community.

Mayor Hahn was treated to the best of Mexican hospitality and as a major foreign dignitary. His meeting with the Mexican president was a rare honor for an American mayor. Hahn was given the royal treatment and escorted around the Mexican capital in a heavily protected motorcade. Mayor Hahn was accompanied by Marta Lara, the Mexican consul general to Los Angeles; Jeffrey Davidow, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico; and Los Angeles City Councilmen Alex Padilla. Alex Padilla is an up and coming young Mexican- American leader who was recently elected as president of the city council by his peers.

Mayor Hahn's principal mission was to forge a better business relationship with Mexico. The mayor said, "We think Mexico is our best customer, and we are Mexico's best customer." Mexico is second only to China as Los Angeles' largest trading partner. California exported $19-billion worth of goods to the country last year.

It appears that Mexican-Americans have a good friend in the mayor's office. This was demonstrated by the mayor's emphasis that he and other California leaders welcome Mexican immigrants. He stated to the Mexican media that California does not want to be remembered only for Proposition 187 which denied health and educational benefits to Mexican immigrants. He said, "I think the message is we're looking for more opportunities to strengthen friendships."

The mayor told Mexican officials that he wants to be a strong advocate for immigrant rights in California. Mayor Hahn informed Fox that he called Governor Davis several times in recent months to urge him to support two bills that would assist Mexicans living in the state. One will allow children of immigrants to pay state tuition to attend California colleges, and another would permit immigrants applying for legal status to receive driver's licenses.

Mayor Kenneth Hahn is also learning to speak Spanish. At a Mexico City news conference, Hahn recited in Spanish his support for an amnesty program for guest workers and undocumented immigrants, an issue that has been shelved by federal officials since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

[MFS note: See the following population graphs showing the demographic changes in Southern California < http://www.usc.edu/schools/sppd/research/census2000/race_census/racecontours/ethington/ethington_maps5.htm >.]
* La Voz de Aztlan, Aztlan.net.
See original at < http://aztlan.net/hahnmexico.htm >.

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